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Old 02-16-2009, 02:39 AM   #1
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Newbie from Europe



Hello all!

I am from Europe and have been greatly inspired by the SMB conversions... I have acquired in Dec. 2008 a 1998 Chevy Express Passenger 2500 Van very rare US import here in Switzerland where I live. It has 55'000 km on the clock (35'000 miles), has the 5.7 gas V8 and is 2WD. As there are no conversion companies for these Vans over here I am going to do a "light" conversion myself. I plan to keep the van "convertible" i.e. be able to switch from Camping mode to Passenger mode quite easily... and all this on minimal budget

Mods will be:
Rear double bed, two kid beds, solar powered secondary electrical system...
Maybe fresh water tank, PortaPotti, Side tent, and fuel reserve...

Here are a couple of photos of my Van:

The Chevy Express:


The front:


The cockpit:


The current seating layout:


The Chevy next to my "little" Mitsubishi Pajero:
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New ride: 2000 Chevy Suburban 1500 4WD
1998 Chevy Express 2500 past project
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+ fixed house (Argh)
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:28 AM   #2
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Re: Newbie from Europe

Welcome! That's an ambitious project; I'll look forward to progress reports. By the way, how much does gas cost in Sweden now? When I was posted in Europe, the European tax structure made gas much more expensive to the consumer than here in the U.S. and I'm wondering if that is still the case. Thanks!
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1993 E350 SMB, 15M, 84k miles - a cheap date
2006 Toyota Prius because we like clean air
2002 Honda Odyssey - can haul lots of stuff
1972 Mercedes 350SL with 4.5l V-8, just because
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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Re: Newbie from Europe

Hi Psomaki,

Well first just a small correction (no worries ) I am in Switzerland,not Sweden

Well yes sort of ambitious... but not so much the conversion as maintaining and fixing the Van as I use it... getting parts isn't that easy round here and postage from the US is pretty expensive

On the fuel front we currently pay (I filled the old girl up today ) the equivalent of 1.20 USD per litter... I think tax is still higher than in the US...

Mind you my Mitsubishi uses 18 mpg I am used to that... and the Chevy 14 so it isn't too bad and what the heck, I can get 12 people into it and that compared to a Prius is only 2 gr/km of CO2 extra per person (done my maths LOL not like signing up to the forum )
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New ride: 2000 Chevy Suburban 1500 4WD
1998 Chevy Express 2500 past project
+ 1990 Mitsubishi Pajero V6 3.0l
+ 2001 Saab 9-5 Aero Hirsch
+ 1972 Saab 96 V4 (not running)
+ fixed house (Argh)
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:27 PM   #4
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Re: Newbie from Europe

Hello Saabman,

Welcome on board, have fun with you project, and pleased to see an other Swiss on board...
Might be able to meet sometime, I will PM you.

Psomaki, depending on the countries there is more or less tax applied to gas vs diesel.
For example, in Switzerland, Gas is cheaper than diesel. In France, it is reversed...

Andrew
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:30 PM   #5
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Re: Newbie from Europe

Thanks, guys! Saabman, sorry to change your citizenship on you. Clearly my feeble mind was overly influenced by the "Saab..." part of your signature. Used to have a Saab many years ago, when I was posted in Athens. Turns out I was the ONLY Saab owner in Greece who went to the dealer to buy parts and then worked on my own vehicle. Don't get me started on Bosch Jetronic fuel injection...
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1993 E350 SMB, 15M, 84k miles - a cheap date
2006 Toyota Prius because we like clean air
2002 Honda Odyssey - can haul lots of stuff
1972 Mercedes 350SL with 4.5l V-8, just because
Wag more, Bark less, Play well with others.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:31 AM   #6
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Re: Newbie from Europe


Psomaki yes I thought the "Saab..." might have been misleading
I am also a Saab fan, I have a 95 Aero and a 96 V4 I belong to a local enthusiasts group and we buy parts from the dealer to fix ourselves... we even collect scrappers from him

AndrewST Hey this is fun to have some local SMB enthusiast here what sort of vehicle do you have? A real SMB?
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New ride: 2000 Chevy Suburban 1500 4WD
1998 Chevy Express 2500 past project
+ 1990 Mitsubishi Pajero V6 3.0l
+ 2001 Saab 9-5 Aero Hirsch
+ 1972 Saab 96 V4 (not running)
+ fixed house (Argh)
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:06 AM   #7
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Re: Newbie from Europe

Not yet, actually 2 japanese 4x4 (see below) but will get this year a full size 4x4 van with a SMB spirit built in.

I mention SMB spirit because I do not know exactly from whom and how it will be... more in june
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